Guide for retailers on implementing safer chemicals and materials


Clean Production Action publishes guide to help retailers create chemicals strategies, ensure use of safer chemicals and materials; outlines key steps to establish inventories with brands and suppliers, measure chemical footprint, publicly disclose policies and progress

On November 13, 2020, non-governmental organization Clean Production Action announced the publication of a new guide for retailers describing why and how they should take action on chemicals of concern in their products. The organization writes that “retailers need to move beyond regulatory compliance if they are to meet customer expectations for safer chemicals in products, respond to investor inquiries, and achieve favorable profiles in rankings by advocacy groups.” With the thousands of chemicals present on the market and in products, however, the organization recognizes that it can be an overwhelming task just to know how to begin.

To support retailers, Clean Production Action’s guide outlines best practices as developed under the organization’s Chemical Footprint Project (FPF reported). It further breaks down key steps that can be taken into five separate modules addressing: (i) developing a chemicals strategy, (ii) using restricted substances lists and priority products to remove chemicals of concern, (iii) building a chemical inventory with brands and suppliers, (iv) measuring a retailer’s own chemical footprint, and (v) publicly disclosing set policies and progress being made towards set goals. Overall, the new publication is described as being “a how-to guide for retailers that want both to address consumer concerns with hazardous chemicals in products and meet consumer preferences for products made with the safest and healthiest chemicals and materials.”

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Food Packaging Forum, 18 November 2020